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Mother of Inmate Set to Be Released Speaks About Prison Safety Issues Amid Pandemic

Posted at 9:38 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 23:20:35-04

TULSA, Okla. — Brenda Warren’s son, Michael, has been at the Mack Alford Correctional Center for more than five years for intent to sell drugs. His original sentence was 32 years. But Thursday, he’s coming home.

“He has one more sleepover," she said. "That’s what we call it. One more sleepover and he’s coming home.”

Warren said she’s been worried about him during the coronavirus pandemic, especially when he got sick about a month ago.

“He had a real high fever," she said. "Slept for like three or four days. Aches and his body hurt so badly he couldn’t move. They were on lockdown at the time and he asked several times can I please go talk to the nurse and they refused.”

Michael was eventually was given Ibuprofen.

He’s part of the more than 450 commutations signed by Governor Kevin Stitt to lower the prison population amid the pandemic. Many have disagreed with the release of some prisoners. But Warren said their lives are at risk. Her son lives in a pod with 54 men where it’s impossible to social distance.

“I don’t want my son to die there," she said. "That would be, all these years we’ve fought to get him home and something like this happens and he died in prison because of the virus.”

Warren said the first thing her son wants to do when he gets out is to buy things like a razor and a toothbrush and go to Sonic. Thursday is also her birthday and she’s getting what she wished for.

“Just knowing that you’re here and you’re safe," she said. "And you’re going to be stuck in the house with us for 14-days. So, it’s a huge relief for all of us.”

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